Obstructions of the respiratory tract can present with difficulties in breathing and maintaining oxygen saturation in the body. These compromised airway conditions often require a tracheostomy (an opening in the windpipe) to relieve such an obstruction.
A tracheostomy itself can have a very negative impact on the quality of life of a patient. Parents of tracheostomised children live with the ever-present danger of an accidental displacement and removal of the tracheostomy canula. They also face the task of learning how to care for the tracheostomy tube, as well as anxiety about proper speech and language development. These issues can all have a profound impact on the quality of life of the patient and their caregivers.